This article is a sordid journey through a bloke’s book group, a designing for collateral damage in the WC and Shakespeare. Bill Bryson put us straight and apparently contrary to widespread misconceptions, Crapper did not invent the flush toilet. He did, however, do much to increase the popularity of the toilet, and developed some important related inventions, such as the ballcock. In The Mother Tongue Bryson spends a few pages

On Saturday I formed part of the devoted Bill Bryson flock accompanied by a packed crowd of equally eager-eared, Zimmer frame pushing, grey-hairs. Avuncular, charming Bill held court as a sort of literary Bruce Springsteen.  No cocaine here; any pills popped by punters at the show would more likely have been statins, aspirin or krill oil. Bill has been a bit on the nose with Canberrans

Isaac Newton famously said, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”. Giants are not to run from but lived up to. Walter and Marion Burley Griffin are our own giants and they still loom large in Canberra's rear-view mirror. The city’s origins lie in a thought experiment, a competition held a mere few generations ago